- Posted by Carisa Turner
- On May 14, 2021
- COVID-19, leadership communications
On May 13, the CDC updated its guidance for wearing masks, saying fully vaccinated individuals are now safe to resume all activities without wearing a face mask—both outside and in most indoor settings, except for those involving public transportation. While this news points to a welcome light at the end of the proverbial tunnel when it comes to COVID-19, it has left many businesses and organizations confused with how to adjust their own policies.
Here are four key considerations to keep in mind:
- Local and state regulations still apply: The CDC guidance does not supersede any mask orders currently in place at the state or local levels. Your business needs to abide by the regulations that exist in your area and monitor any changes or updates to these orders. While several states have eased some of their mask mandates, others have not and are still reviewing the recommendation.
- Consider your type of business: Some industries will have an easier time adjusting to these changes than others. Restaurants, hotels and retail establishments have a different set of considerations than an industrial warehouse, law firm or boutique business consultancy. Your policy updates should reflect those realities.
- Communicate your policy changes: Make sure any updates to your policy are clear and consistent. Differentiate between requirements for employees and requirements for customers. Include what is changing and what is not changing. Post the policy in a visible location, whether in your physical building or on your website, so people are aware of your requirements. Whatever your decision, communicate those changes clearly and compassionately, and make sure your employees are prepared to field questions.
- Lead from your core values: At the end of the day, the CDC guidance is just that—guidance. It’s not a mandate to remove mask requirements from your business. Several large businesses, including Kroger and Target, are keeping their mask mandates for now. As a business owner, this is an opportunity to lead from your core values and make a decision based not only on the best interests of your business, but also on the best interests of your employees, customers and community members.